Sunday, November 28, 2004


Just a nuisance

Hat tip to Jonah Goldberg for picking up this article from The Scotsman. Thousands of Iranian people (the group claims 4000, but I take that figure with enough salt to give me hypertension) recently volunteered for training in one of the following three aeras: assassinating novelist Salman Rushdie, undertaking suicide attacks against Israelis, or undertaking suicide attacks against U.S. forces in Iran. The organization training them is unofficial, but one Iranian lawmaker and a military official were present and supportive of the efforts.

This is a death cult. There is no negotiating with people who welcome their own deaths. As long as they live and breathe, terrorists can never be "just a nuisance". Islamist fanatics see this as a clash of civilizations. If we do not, it is at our peril, because they may lie low waiting to strike again, but they do not surrender.

The metaphor that Iraq has become a magnet for terrorists is true in part, but it fails to adequately capture the result that happens to terrorists when they go to Iraq to attack U.S., Coalition, or Iraqi forces. Iraq has become a bug light for terrorists. They are attracted to it, and it kills them.

The importance of the training to assassinate Salman Rushdie cannot be overestimated. The man was a novelist, who offended Moslems by apostasy and blasphemy. He was no military threat. He offended people. That's it. The response by Islamist groups was not to condemn him, or to call for boycotts of his work. It was to organize large numbers of people to kill him. Theo Van Gogh was assassinated for much the same reason - and he was not even an apostate Moslem.

Militant Islam considers anyone who publicly disparages it to be an enemy and a target. Atomizing the "War on Terror" to be about specific individuals or organizations misses the nature of the fight.

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